“It will not have gone unnoticed, by particularly exacting readers and listeners, that the narrator of this fable has paid scant, not to say non-existent, attention to the place in which the action described, albeit in rather leisurely fashion, is taking place. Apart from the first chapter, in which there were a few careful brush-strokes applied to the area of the polling station, although, even then, these were applied only to doors, windows, and tables, and with the exception of the polygraph, that machine for catching liars, everything else, which is quite a lot, has passed as if the characters in the story inhabited an entirely insubstantial world, were indifferent to the comfort or discomfort of the places in which they found themselves, and did nothing but talk.”
-Jose Saramago, Seeing
Saramago sometimes offers his readers glaring insight into the ways in which he manipulates the reading mind. Strangely, it is not uncomfortable.
I will write at length on the lessons I’ve been learning about painting backdrops, but I wanted this quote in place before I dig into it.